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36-year-old woman from Guatemala dies while in Arizona detention center

A detention facility for undocumented immigrants on July 30, 2010 in Eloy, Arizona.

A detention facility for undocumented immigrants on July 30, 2010 in Eloy, Arizona.  (2010 Getty Images)

A 36-year-old woman from Guatemala died on Sunday at the Banner Casa Grande Medical Center in Arizona, officials from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said.

Raquel Calderón de Hildago was being held at the Eloy Detention Center, which is operated by ICE, some 60 miles southeast of Phoenix and which the Arizona Republic dubbed “the deadliest immigration detention center in the nation.”

According to an ICE press release, Calderón was caught by the U.S. Border Patrol in Robles Junction, near Tucson, and transferred to ICE custody six days later, on Nov. 23.

Staff at Eloy called paramedics after the woman, who had no other criminal history in the U.S., began having seizures, which continued in the ambulance.

“Hospital staff were unable to revive her,” the release said, and Calderón was pronounced dead shortly after 11 a.m. on Sunday. “The official cause of death will be determined by the Arizona medical examiner.”

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The Guatemalan migrant is the third person to die in ICE custody since the start of fiscal year 2017 at the beginning of October. The previous one was Wenceslau Esmerio Campos, 49, a Brazilian national who was being held at the South Texas Detention Complex, in Pearsall, and was transferred to a hospital in San Antonio after suffering from chest pains, where he died from cardiac arrest on Nov. 25.

Fifteen detainees at Eloy have died while in custody since 2003, the Republic found, the most of any detention facility in the country.

Those 15 deaths represent about 9 percent of the 165 immigration detainees who have died in ICE custody in that time, the Arizona Republic reported.

Eloy has an official capacity of just under 1,600 detainees — 0.36 percent of the 441,000 people that were held by the immigration agency in more than 200 facilities across the country in 2013.

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